Glasgow Gallivanting: September 2020
We’ve had some lovely, bright weekends in September which have been great for getting out and about. The walk to the Auld Wives’ Lifts on Craigmaddie Muir was one we’d wanted to do for a while – the Lifts being the rocks you can see middle right in the image above, with the Campsie fells and the prominent knob of Dumgoyne visible in the background.
The Lifts consist of three extremely large pieces of grey sandstone, one propped on top of the other two with a space between them. Couples who were considering marriage used to try to squeeze through the gap in an anticlockwise direction; if they weren’t successful, the marriage was doomed! The stones might be connected with worship of some sort and have been a place of pilgrimage for centuries.
Legend has it that three witches from Baldernock, Strathblane and Campsie carried the stones to prove their strength. They are covered in Victorian graffiti as well as about eight carved heads or faces, which look ancient but seem not to have been noticed, or at least written about, until the 1970s.
The walk itself was not particularly pleasant, being over muddy, rutted fields and boggy ground, but the views, one way back towards Glasgow and the other to the Campsies and Ben Lomond, were beautiful.
A walk above the Ayrshire coastal town of Largs to Greeto Bridge also afforded good views and a welcome glimpse of the sea. The islands of Great Cumbrae and Arran can be seen beyond the town.
Milngavie, just north of Glasgow, is the start of the West Highland Way. We used the beginning of the trail to branch off onto a couple of other walks.
We saw more pretty countryside.
We came across several more sets of Scholars Rocks by Rachel Mimiec, previously encountered elsewhere in East Dunbartonshire in July, and parts of a new (to us) artwork, Home by Alex Allan, naming women workers in industries previously located in Milngavie.
And we skirted the edge of Mugdock and Craigmaddie Reservoirs. It’s a long time since we’ve walked all the way round these two – maybe next month!
September has also been a month for women’s history. Students returned to university and the usual Fresher’s Fairs were all conducted online. As part of this, Glasgow Women’s Library was invited to set out its wares in a programme for Subcity Radio and I did a slot on a couple of the women from our heritage tours. If you wish, you can listen here – I am on second, just after the two minute mark, and I speak for about six minutes.
I have also done another of my Twitter Walks, this time on the East End, which you can follow below.
While taking the photographs for the above walk we spotted a new mural in process on Abercromby Street. The third photograph shows the completed mural a few days later.
St Thenue (also known as St Enoch) is pictured wearing a shawl featuring 29 motifs in honour of the victims of the 1889 Templeton’s carpet factory disaster when 29 women were killed by a collapsing wall. Legend has it that Thenue’s father, a pagan king, ordered her to be hurled from a hill in East Lothian when she became pregnant out of wedlock. When she miraculously survived she was put into a small boat and cast adrift in the Firth of Forth to perish. She was guided to shore by a shoal of fish and given shelter at the community of St Serf in Culross where she gave birth to her son, St Mungo, the Patron Saint of Glasgow.
Another new mural this month is on the side wall of Embargo, a pub on Byres Road in the West End, and portrays Scottish music stars Annie Lennox, Calvin Harris, Emili Sandé and Lewis Capaldi. The mural is the work of local artist Rogue-One and is intended, according to the bar’s manager, as “a visual celebration of Scottish musical talent during a difficult time for the creative and hospitality industries alike.”
Finally, we encountered the highland cattle of Dawsholm Park again this month, so here are two of the most photogenic especially for Jessica!
So that’s it for September and what turns out to be my 700th post. Restrictions are closing in again, but let’s not focus on the bad stuff. Wishing you all a happy October.
Been getting a bit behind on reading blogs by my “bloggy friends” so catching up on the backlog.
Glad to see you getting out and about up there in Scotland. Wonder how long it will be before we’re locked back indoors again? Being out in the fresh air is the best place to be to keep you healthy in body and mind – providing you don’t get too close to strangers. Unfortunately, not everyone does the latter.
We are still getting out and about though in the Central Belt we are no longer recommended to go outside of our health board areas, and we can’t visit other houses. Supposed to be 2 weeks only, but like you I worry that more is to come.
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Stay safe Anabel. And look after your dear mum
Doing our best! She’s 94 next week.
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Hi Anabel – congratulations on your walks and talks … you keep history alive for all interested; while the locals walks are always interesting to learn about the area and the folklore – those stones remind me of Cornwall. Interesting tale about St Thenue or St Enoch … amazing how these tales stay for us in future years. Gorgeous photos – and enjoy those long walks this month – all the best Hilary
Thanks Hilary, glad you found it interesting.
I wondered how Theneu, a woman, could be known by a man’s name, Enoch. According to the Wikipedia article “St. Enoch” is in fact a corruption of “St. Teneu”.
Vast numbers of Glaswegians don’t know that! I didn’t know it myself until I joined the Women’s Library Heritage Tour Guides. We have a shopping mall called St Enoch’s and I always assumed it was called after a man.
I messed up in pasting the intended link:
I’m never entirely clear how they got from Teneu to Enoch!
Lovely walk and an excellent post. October seems to have started well for us here in South Australia, so long may it continue ( be great if the weather was better – all this rain makes a fellow feel homesick!)
Thanks! We seem to be back to rain here so there’s plenty to be homesick about 😉.
I loved the walk! Beautiful photos!
Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it.
A lovely mix of art and nature Anabel. I hope October is kind to you.
Thank you! I wish the same for you.
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